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Electric Motors for Electric Cars

3261 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  electronjen
Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone knows of a good place to find NEW electric motors at low cost. I have been looking around, and have found a few good high power (200hp) motors, however they are prohibitively expensive! (>10k)

My company is designing a 150hp motor/controller all-in-one unit that we hope to sell for under $3000. I am trying to get an idea of if something like that is useful for the DIYers out there or not.

What do you guys think?
Thanks :)
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The original question was about a 200 hp motor - I agree that at that power level new motors are very expensive, and not many salvaged EV motors are at that power... but perhaps only because they are limited by other components of the vehicle.

At 150 hp and $3K with controller, there would be a lot of interest... but is that 150 hp continuous, or in brief bursts? What would the maximum speed and usable speed range be? How would it be packaged, how would it be designed to mount, and what would the output shaft configuration be? Would there be transmission/transaxle options?

The details matter.

Since I'm always curious about the technical aspects, I wonder how this package would be so much less expensive than the competition - what would be different in the design?
If we're getting into specific examples:
  • The Volt is a hybrid - I don't think either motor in the transaxle can put out 200 hp
  • I'm surprised that MG-2 in the Lexus LS 600h hybrid transmission is so powerful: Toyota lists it as 221 hp and 300 Nm torque. The GS 450h is nearly identical, but rated at 197 hp and 275 Nm.
  • The Chevrolet Bolt motor is rated at 150 kw (200 hp). I really doubt that it can be purchased for $3K at retail, especially with a controller; it also comes integrated with a transaxle, leading back to my questions about configuration.
  • The HyPer9 suffers (in power output) from being intended for relatively low voltage (by modern EV standards), because it is designed for a low-voltage market (mostly industrial vehicles). I wonder what voltage it could handle, and what power it could produce if it can run at higher voltage.
  • Nissan announced an "e+" or "Plus" version of the Leaf - not available yet - which has a motor power rating of ~160 kW (215 hp). It may be simply the existing Leaf motor, rated higher because it less limited by the larger battery (60 kWh) of this coming model... so any Leaf might be an example of a 200 hp motor. Even the regular (40 kWh) Leaf motor is now rated at 110 kW (147 hp). This illustrates the importance of the issue of operating voltage and other limitations of the rest of the vehicles when considering salvaged motors.
  • Of course, all Tesla motors are rated at more than 200 hp each; I've never heard of one being used separate from its integrated transaxle.
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I had a feeling that most people were using used motors from production EVs for conversions.
That's the most popular approach for discussion, but I don't know how one would determine the actual number of conversions done with each source of motor.
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